"Writing must be done in small amounts. I draft passages in notebooks, revise them, and make the final drafts on the typewriter. My speed is about a paragraph a day." --Guy Davenport
Though I can appreciate this quote for the process of writing, I am not so much a writer as I am a visual artist and a sewer. I can see how this process works for me with sewing, quilting, painting, and even gardening and house projects. I am satisfied by the incremental, the slow and steady of what I am able to contribute and create in short periods of time. While some days may result in more than a paragraph (or the equivalent), most days do not lend themselves to whole books (or quilts, or finished works).
What do you do step by step, as you have little bits of time?
"Play, reading, writing, letters, slowness of life all contribute to creativity. When we live fast, we don't have time to catch our breath, to think, to explore, to linger. When we take those slower steps, we begin to see and notice more, to absorb the parts of our lives, the world to have such an effect on us. If we rush through our commutes, we can be exasperated, rushed, tired, short. Everything is a check on the to-do list, not to be relished until it is all complete. But, it is never complete. There will always be another day, another item on the list, another list. The point is not to get rid of the list, or the items on the list, but to slow the list, the items. To relish and enjoy the stages between the steps. During the commute, be grateful fro your job, your car, your life, your family. Be grateful for that time to think, to see, to hear. Be glad for what came before and what will come after."
Source: World Enough and Time by Christian MacEwen.
Additional thoughts can be found in Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris.
Addendum: I started this post and typed this quote two months ago, after thinking about it for several months. I am possibly the busiest I have been this year and last year, but even as I say that, I can recall some really busy seasons in my life in high school, college, and my first several years working after graduate school. I am aching for a slowing down of activities, commitments, responses, and scheduling. The horizon does look promising because there are at least 2 things I can end and 1 thing to majorly downsize. All of this means that there will be space for something we want to add to our lives and consciously saying no, enough, and not now will be things on our lips more frequently.
The Little Flower - St. Therese of Lisieux (she visited this church at least once, therefore there is a special devotion to her here)
Saint Rita of Cascia
Images from the church Notre Dame des Victoires in Paris (Our Lady of Victories)
Sainte-Chapelle was the private chapel in the royal palace of St. Louis IX, King of France. Also, the namesake of St. Louis, MO. It was built around 1240, and something like 70% of the stained glass is original. All of the glass was cleaned over the past 7-10 years making the interior glow more brightly. The stained glass only uses 4-5 colors and tells Biblical stories through the Old and New Testaments and the Passion of Chris. The chapel also contains relics of the true cross.
What these pictures do not show are the crowds of people looking up at the stained glass, walls and ceiling. They stay mostly quiet, due to a guard who periodically calls, "Shhhh!" There are tours being given in different languages, quietly, as the groups walk around the inside. However, the crowds do not detract from the true beauty and awe of this space. Though it is large it is not nearly as large as a cathedral, and the light coming in is just breathtaking. I could have stayed in this space all day, given a chair.
I recently spent some time in on a wonderful little island called Prince Edward. The Queen Anne's lace grows everywhere -by every road, in fields, and by the sea. There were other fields of wildflowers, including lots of lupine.
imprints in the sand, left by the tide
The beach in this village was all red, with soft, red sand and red rocks, and red dirt and clay roads.